Sunday, January 25, 2009

Going to see staging of a new musical tonight

Tonight a friend and I are going to see a staged reading of Shadows of Pompeii, a new "dramatic musical" from the Broadway composer Keith Hermann (Romance, Romance).

Tonight the show will be performed with actors holding scripts, and they'll be looking for feedback, but the show will be presented in a fully staged workshop production in April at the Eureka Theater, and there are plans to submit to a major new works festival in NYC. Tonight's reading is booked beyond capacity, but I've got an in because 42nd Street Moon is helping with backing.

Led by Director Dianna Shuster, former artistic director of American Musical Theatre of San Jose, "Shadows of Pompeii" features nine local actors (see cast list below). The show features a score by the afore-mentioned Tony-nominated composer Herrmann and libretto by Bay Area playwright R.C. Staab.

STORY: Shadows of Pompeii is a full-length, fully-staged workshop production of a dramatic new musical that that tells a story of a young female artist's desire to express herself and to live life to the fullest in the shadow of the male-dominated Roman Empire in Pompeii 79AD. Lila is a young woman fervent about painting, despite Roman society restrictions. She paints a mural of Pompeii's governor, Tiberius, who is furious at the artist's treatment and imprisons her. Yet, he is enticed by her fervor and passion. When Lila paints his portrait in prison to appease Tiberius' wife, they slowly discover their attraction for each other. Will Lila and Tiberius' love be fulfilled? The musical echoes our fast-paced world where tragedy can happen at any moment or the eruption of a volcano can alter lives forever in an idyllic seaside town.

Juliet Heller
Russ Lorenson*
Lane McKenna*
Sean Patrick Murtagh
Lillian Askew
Alex Rodriguez
Mike Figueira
Mauricio Villa-Lobos*
Stephen Vaught

*Actors indicated with an asterisk are members of ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION, the union of professional actors in the United States.

I'll let you know what I think after I see tonight's production.

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